The Privacy Act Review Report, released by the Attorney-General’s office on 16 February 2023, contains 116 proposals aimed at enhancing the Australian privacy framework. Three key proposals from the report are highlighted below.
Firstly, one of the proposals is to require organisations to act fairly and reasonably when collecting, using, and disclosing personal information. This proposal is seen as a new keystone of the Australian privacy framework by the privacy regulator, which means that tick boxes and privacy policies will no longer suffice to cure inappropriate data collection and use. This proposal aims to place greater responsibility on businesses to handle personal information with care and consideration for the individuals concerned.
Secondly, another proposal is to remove the small business exemption. Currently, businesses with an annual turnover of less than $3m are broadly exempt from complying with the Privacy Act. However, this proposal suggests that after consultation, this exemption will be removed. This change is intended to ensure that all businesses are held accountable for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information.
Finally, a third proposal is to introduce a right of erasure. This proposal would give individuals the ability to request the deletion of their personal information and a right of de-indexation for online search results. This reform aims to give individuals more control over their personal information and privacy.
Robert Feldman of Gadens Lawyers had this to say about the upcoming reform;
“Be the leader, not a victim. Change is coming and the opportunity is here to get on the front foot now when it comes to how you manage data.”
Overall, these three proposals represent a significant shift in the Australian privacy framework. They aim to give more rights to individuals and place greater responsibility on businesses to handle personal information with care and consideration. By implementing these reforms, Australia aims to create a privacy framework that is more in line with modern privacy concerns and expectations.
If you are worried about the upcoming privacy reforms and how they could affect your business, Oper8 Global, Thales Cloud Security and Gadens are hosting a dinner in Brisbane on the 2nd of March, where Robert will be discussing how you can navigate these reforms and ensure you are a leader and not a victim, submit your details below and one of Oper8 Global team will confirm your seat.